When the going gets tough (in Perth) the tough get going down South. A little long weekend trip to Australia’s South West.
SOUTH WEST GETAWAY
A few weekends ago some friends and I packed up and headed on a road trip for a long weekend of sun and relaxation in the beautiful South West. Heading down south is one of the regular past times of most Perth residents, with good reason. The destination boasts pristine beaches, the Margaret River wine region, plenty of delicious food and beautiful bushland scenery.
While it got a little cold at night, this time around some of us took a dip in the outdoor spa and really soaked it up. Since I am a wus, I wasn’t one of them!
I did, however find a few good local spots I wanted to share with you all. Find them below.
I have talked about the beautiful South West before on Inspiring Wit, but it is one of those places that end up providing me with an entirely (or almost entirely) different trip every time. Sure, there are similar activities but somehow it always feels a little different.
The draw cards are easily explained: A few hours drive south of Perth, the freeway is a relaxed drive (as long as you don’t happen to get stuck in traffic), leading to the promise of an even more chilled break.
MY HOLDEN ASTRA BUDDY
This time around, I had just picked up my new best friend, aka the brand new Holden Astra, who is hanging out with me for the next six months. It was the perfect vehicle to road trip in because it has excellent storage space for all of my suitcases (this girl likes to change a lot!), seat warmers (for those frosty mornings) and a digital radio. I can not tell you how important music is to me! That digital radio is the best!
I will be sharing more of my trips and adventures with this little guy over on Instagram, so stay tuned. Of course, I am mad keen for more winter picnic excuses at the moment too, so any excuse!
WEARING: HELLO PARRY CARDIGAN, ALSO LOVING THIS ONE, NAMED AFTER YOURS TRULY!, BOHEMIAN TRADERS LONG SLEEVE TEE, ASOS CAMI, TORN KNEE JEANS, MIDAS SHOES, VINTAGE CAP (SIMILAR HERE), SPEKTRE SUNGLASSES
Some of my favourite local spots when staying around Dunsborough or Yallingup, which tend to be our choice for home base include….
This little drive through / hole in the wall coffee and bagel spot is our go-to for decent morning coffees. So much so that we end up doing a coffee run each morning. You can tell, it is also one spot that I chose to embarrass everyone by insisting I take blog and outfit photos to share with you out the front of. I’m such a peach to travel with, no? Hahaha.
1/20 Faure Ln, Dunsborough WA 6281
WEARING: STAPLE THE LABEL COAT, BOHEMIAN TRADERS STRIPE TEE, TORN DENIM JEANS, MIDAS SHOES, ZAC POSEN BAG, RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES
One spot that we somehow seem to end up at once or twice per trip is Eagle Bay. Maybe it is the beautiful lunch menu, or that my friends all love to try a bunch of different beers. Either way, this spot, with rolling hill views is always welcoming.
Eagle Bay Rd, Eagle Bay. W.A. 6281
WEARING: STAPLE THE LABEL KNIT, TORN KNEE JEANS, MIDAS SHOES,
Below, you can see I was not kidding about either changing often, nor how often we hit up The Cure for coffee. (Yes, I did happen to be carrying my next outfit change in that basket, in case it got colder!).
WEARING: STAPLE THE LABEL KNIT, TOPSHOP GINGHAM RUFFLE SKIRT, CONVERSE SNEAKERS, RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES
While I tasted a couple of wines at Wise, I didn’t love any. Maybe this was because I had just brushed my teeth, or because I am not a big drinker. All the same, Wise is one spot that I would suggest calling into for the view overlooking the bushland out to the ocean alone. Though, I have also had a beautiful lunch here with that stunning view.
WEARING: SUSSAN WOOL CAPE, BOHEMIAN TRADERS LONG SLEEVE TEE, TORN KNEE JEANS, SPEKTRE SUNGLASSES, ZAC POSEN BAG, LINNEY’S NEOPRENE DIAMOND BANGLE, TOGA PULLA BOOTS
One of my newest favourite spots in the southwest quickly became White Elephant Cafe. A remote cafe situated closer to Margaret River, taking the drive down Caves Road, this spot is stunning. The only beachside cafe around, White Elephant is hugely popular and breakfast or coffee waiting times hit peak over the weekends. While you can grab a table, okay, the coffee wait was around 20 minutes and the breakfasts more like 45 minutes. This was fine by me as it gave me time to watch the surfers and explore the area.
The waves were rolling in huge and strong. I loved watching as they crashed into the boat ramp. This was, of course, made more amusing by a few tourists who for some reason chose to take photos on it. Food wise I had a gluten-free toast avocado bruschetta and heated milk drink that was meant to be chai. Stick to coffee! None of our breakfasts lasted long enough to take a photo, cause we were all super hungry after the wait. It was worth it though!
Gnarabup RdGnarabup W.A. 6285
This is one of those spots that I didn’t take pictures at because my hands were too busy eating chocolate samples! Truth! But this spot is my favourite on our trips each time. Their chocolates are good and all (though I prefer the chocolate from Temper Temper) but it is their chocolate chip cookies we all look forward to. Constantly baking these giant cookies, they are best warm from the oven! To top it off my further treat of choice is a coffee blended with melted dark 70-80% chocolate. While it may send me into a bit of a sugar rush, I am always the skipper on our trips so it’s my treat in place of wine etc.
Speaking of wines, everyone tends to stop in at the cellar door located on the shared grounds with Gabriel’s, House of Cards. The staff working there are always friendly and I notice my friends walk away with a few bottles each time.
Something I am super excited to learn is that the famous cookies are also now available at their new Fremantle location on Essex Street! Making plans to visit this weekend now!
Lot 14, 3220 Caves Rd, Yallingup 6282, Western Australia
One of my favourite Perth babes Jade is always heading down south, so this time around I asked her for some recommendations of places to check out. Stormflower ended up being a tiny and very sweet winery and one of our collective favourite spots. I even joined in on the tasting this time. We were seated around one of their big wooden tables in one of two tasting rooms and given the back story behind each of the nine wines on offer.
Stormflower have recently been given organic certification, something the winery have been working on for a number of years. We ended up all loving the Certified Organic 2016 Chardonnay the most and took one home for later. Do you know of any organic wineries to check out? Let me know below!
3503 Caves Road, Wilyabrup, Western Australia 6280
Black Brewing Company
One lunch spot we called into this time was Black Brewing Company, who actually ended up having my favourite meal of the trip. Much nicer than the nearby Cheeky Monkey Brewery, Black Brewing is modern, sleek and has a menu to reflect this. Designed to share, we ordered a few dishes including the Thai Buttermilk Fried Chicken Wings and my favourite, the Cured Hapuka Poke. This dish (pictured below) was so tasty, fresh and perfectly balanced that I want to eat it all the time!! The menu is designed to reflect local flavours and ingredients but enhanced with regional ties to Indonesia. Since we are actually closer to Indonesia than Sydney, the chef includes influences in the form of Asian flavours and a little heat/ spice.
One of the other highlights for us included being there for the first day of tasting their new gin. Their new gin was actually amazing, and the cocktails using it on offer (we all tasted each!) were fantastic. Paired with fresh pomegranate, was one flavour we all loved and of course, took a bottle home to share.
3517 Caves Road, Wilyabrup, Western Australia 6280
As you can see, we found numerous food and drink spots to recommend for your next road trip down south. This is but a few suggestions from a very long list of options! My best advice is to make a plan for the hot spots you wish to hit up along Caves Road and make sure to prioritise booking a spot for lunch in advance. Weekends get very busy and tables book up fast. Each spot offer a beautiful view to take in while waiting for a table, but it is advisable to book either way.
Of course, there are also a lot of excellent beach side spots to spend some down time, Eagle Bay and Meelup Beach being two of my favourite spots. If you are up for more of the natural landscapes of the area, head out to Sugarloaf Rock, Canal Rocks and Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.
Until our next trip! If you have any suggestions of where to check out in the south west, let us know in the comments below. Have you been to any of these spots before? Got another favourite?